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Fluorescence of Hydroxyphenyl-Substituted “Click” Triazoles

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posted on 2018-02-28, 00:00 authored by Quinton J. Meisner, Joseph V. Accardo, Guoxiang Hu, Ronald J. Clark, De-en Jiang, Lei Zhu
The structural and optical properties of hydroxyphenyl-substituted-1,2,3-triazole molecules (“click” triazoles) are described. “Click” triazoles are prepared from the copper­(I)-catalyzed azide–alkyne cycloaddition reactions. The alkyne-derived C4 substituent of a “click” triazole engages in electronic conjugation more effectively with the triazolyl core than the azide-derived N1 substituent. Furthermore, triazolyl group exerts a stronger electron-withdrawing effect on the N1 than the C4 substituent. Therefore, the placement of an electron-donating group at either C4 or N1 position and the presence or the absence of an intramolecular hydrogen bond (HB) have profound influences on the optical properties of these compounds. The reported “click” triazoles have fluorescence quantum yields in the range of 0.1–0.3 and large apparent Stokes shifts (8000–13 000 cm–1) in all tested solvents. Deprotonation of “click” triazoles with a C4 hydroxyphenyl group increases their Stokes shifts; while the opposite (or quenching) occurs to the triazoles with an N1 hydroxyphenyl substituent. For the triazoles that contain intramolecular HBs, neither experimental nor computational results support a model of excited state intramolecular proton transfer (ESIPT). Rather, the excited state internal (or intramolecular) charge transfer (ICT) mechanism is more suitable to explain the fluorescence properties of the hydroxyphenyl-substituted “click” triazoles; specifically, the large Stokes shifts of these compounds.